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Are Cracked Teeth on the Rise?

Cracked and damaged teeth are being reported in greater numbers as the stress and worry associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family against the damage that this stress can do to your teeth, your jaw and your overall dental health.

At The Dental Center of Indiana, we will work closely with you to find the best and most practical solutions for your current and future dental care needs. Our team is committed to the highest standards of excellence in dentistry and will do their best to choose only affordable and necessary dental care options in the South Bend area.

What Is the Technical Term for Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism is a technical term for the grinding or clenching of teeth on a regular basis. This can happen during sleep or when under stress. Young children are most likely to experience bruxism. Competitive or extremely active individuals may also be at higher risk of damage to their teeth from clenching or grinding their teeth. Medications and medical conditions can also have an impact on the incidence of bruxism in some dental patients.

Grinding your teeth on a regular basis in your sleep or during the day can cause serious damage to the enamel of your teeth. Enamel forms the hard outer shell around your teeth. If it is damaged by too much pressure or back-and-forth motion, it can crack or chip, allowing bacteria to attack the interior of the teeth. This can increase the risk of tooth decay and infections. Additionally, grinding your teeth can also cause problems with the alignment of your jaw and can result in severe headaches and pain in your face, neck or jaw. Bruxism can also contribute to sleep disorders that could reduce your ability to get restful sleep at night.

How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth During the Day?

Avoiding stressful situations as much as possible can reduce the incidence of bruxism for most people. Smoking is thought to be associated with an increased risk of teeth clenching and grinding. The use of alcohol, especially when you are under stress, can also increase the chance that you will grind your teeth during the day. Taking time out to relax and to breathe at work can help you to relieve stress and can reduce your risk of damaging your teeth because of bruxism.

How Can a Dentist Help?

The dentists at The Dental Center of Indiana will work with you to determine the best and most practical options for your needs. We can create custom dental appliances designed to prevent damage to your teeth that could be caused by grinding your teeth at night.

What Is a Custom Night Guard?

A custom dental guard is designed to be worn at night while you sleep. These snug, well-fitting trays are designed to create a cushion between your top teeth and bottom teeth, which ensures that bruxism does not cause any further damage to your tooth enamel. While your night guard cannot prevent you from grinding or clenching your teeth, these dental devices can stop any further damage caused by these activities.

Why Should You Wear a Protector for Your Teeth While You Sleep?

Protective devices like mouth guards can provide a number of benefits for our patients, including the following:

  • A custom-fitted night guard will be comfortable to wear during the night, which can help you sleep more soundly.
  • Because a custom night guard is fitted specifically to your teeth, it will stay in place throughout the night.
  • Night guards from our dental team can provide you with added help in managing issues with your temporomandibular joint, also referred to as TMJ syndrome.

What Is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome?

TMJ syndrome occurs when the muscles and joints of your jaw are damaged because of an injury or repeated instances of bruxism. Some of the most common signs of TMJ syndrome include the following:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, face, shoulders, neck or near the ear.
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth or chewing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Pain or clicking when opening or closing the mouth
  • A significant change in your bite

Our dental team will work with you to determine the best approach for handling TMJ issues and protecting your teeth from further damage.

Is a Mouth Guard Going to Provide Relief for TMJ Pain?

A custom mouth guard from our dental team can often reduce the misalignment of your jaw. This can gradually reduce the pain associated with TMJ syndrome and can help you feel better more quickly.

Why Do You Need a Custom Mouth Guard?

Purchasing over-the-counter night guards cannot provide the real protection and comfort of a custom bruxism guard from our office. Custom mouth guards offer greater comfort and are more durable than the cheaper alternatives sometimes offered by pharmacies or online.

How Can You Get a Custom Night Guard?

Our team will work with you to determine the best and most practical way to address your issues with bruxism and TMJ. We can measure your teeth and take impressions that will allow us to create the perfect customizations for your mouth guards. This will ensure that you enjoy the benefits of these dental appliances for yourself and your family.

Are Custom Mouth Guards Expensive?

If you are concerned about the cost of custom mouth guards, The Dental Center of Indiana can help with practical options for lowering your costs. We work with most dental plans and can provide you with affordable options that will reduce the risks of damaging your teeth while ensuring the most beautiful smiles for you and your family. Our dental team is committed to keeping your costs low and to managing your dental care in the most practical way possible.

To learn more about your options in preventing damage to your teeth, give us a call today to schedule your first appointment with The Dental Center of Indiana. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you and help meet your dental care needs in South Bend.

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